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How it feels to Design & Build a Pilot Plant

We know you are dying to know what it feels like to build a pilot plant. We thought we would share that magical journey of emotions so you don’t have to angst any longer:

The client calls to discuss the project idea with an EPIC engineer:

The client isn’t sure they want to proceed with the project or they need to speak with their superiors. We know this is sometimes necessary, and we are more than willing to prove our value to whoever you need to speak with. It still feels a little:

But, when the client comes back with a purchase order because they know that EPIC can deliver the fastest time to market pilot plant around, we’re all:

Now the real work begins. We start on detailed design, meeting with the client multiple times and working with any client-developed technologies, PFD’s, etc.

We fabricate the frame in our state-of-the-art shop and the first part arrives for the system installation. The project manager gets the part and rally’s the troops:



(Our welding skills are pretty bad-ass if we do say so ourselves.)

Then the client calls to ask if we can deliver the finished pilot plant two weeks sooner than planned. At first we’re kinda like:

But we jump into action to make it happen for our client. We know that time is money, and we will do what we can to help the client out:

When the pilot plant fabrication and controls are complete, we gear up for FAT testing with the client before the pilot plant skid ships. The first time the client sees the finished pilot plant, they’re all:

Then we lift the whole pilot plant onto a truck to ship it to the client facility. We feel a little sad to see our masterpiece leave, but we know it’s going into capable hands:

We work with the client to bring the pilot plant online and finish installation & commissioning. In a few short days, the whole system is functioning to spec, the client is trained on the pilot plant operations, and we get ready to leave. The client says:

And we feel like this:

And that’s how it feels to design, build and install a pilot plant. You’re welcome.

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5 Responses to How it feels to Design & Build a Pilot Plant

  1. Jason February 7, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    Great post. I this pretty much sums up the pilot plant design process! Thanks!

  2. George February 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    cool post. sometimes it does feel like drudging through the trenches on an engineering design project, but the end result is always worth it.

  3. Rick Kiethman February 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    Very cool post. Pilot plants can be challenging projects but they are so rewarding.

  4. Justin April 8, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    This is funny because it is true! Although each pilot plant is difficult in its own way, each project is a rewarding experience.

  5. Elaine July 28, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    Would love to see how long the trench is.

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